Logo W on B

...and inspire others to go veggie too

Join Us Latest News social_03 Mail white small

UK Athletics


UK Athletics (UKA) is the main body controlling athletics in the UK and is affiliated to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). It is made up of National Associations which essentially handle the affairs of the UK’s individual nations. England Athletics is one such National Association.


Road and Trail Running races are the most popular types of events in terms of participation, and it is these that the below information specifically relates to.


UKA rules are extensive. Some are undoubtedly designed to stealthily channel road and trail runners to join an affiliated club, and then to go on to become a ‘registered athlete’ with a National Association through that club.


To race in an ‘individual open competition’ on the road or trail, there is no obligation to join a club at all, and, if you do, even though National Associations lean heavily on the implication that it is a requirement, there is actually no obligation to extend your commitment to the organisation and become a registered athlete. The current cost to become a registered athlete with a National Association is £10 per annum (on top of your club membership) and this process is administered by your 1st claim club. UKA are quite far-reaching in its demands of clubs and undoubtedly raise a great deal of capital by having affiliated clubs administer this money-gathering process. Whether UKA provide good value for money or not to the average club road runner is a matter for personal judgement.


Joining a club can give access to all kinds of benefits like coaching and training opportunities, a social scene, access to open team competitions, and, as mentioned, opens up the opportunity to become a registered athlete with a National Association: you cannot register with a National Association directly. The benefits of becoming a registered athlete with a National Association can be considered on their merit by visiting your National Association’s website. Considered by most as the most useful benefit is the fact that you will save at least £2 on your entry fee for each road / trail race you do. If you don’t race so frequently, it’s a matter of deciding if the other National Association benefits are worth it to you personally.


If you do become a registered athlete it becomes a fairly convoluted affair to change your 1st claim running club with much form filling, your former Club’s acknowledgement of loose ends being tied up, and the payment of a ‘transfer’ fee (currently yet another £10) to your National Association.


You can, then, compete as an ‘unattached’ athlete and belong to no club at all. If you do join one and also become a registered athlete, then by default the club that deals with your registration to the National Association becomes your 1st claim club and you can only (in simple terms – there are exceptions) enter UKA sanctioned races in the name of that club.


Clothing rules dictate that clothing must be clean and comprise at least vest and shorts or equivalent and must not be objectionable even if wet. No ‘advertising’ is allowed other than a clothing manufacturers’ logo. Competitors can also ‘advertise’ the accepted name of their affiliated club.


As a reminder, these rules relate mainly to road and trail running. Track and field events, fell running, and other athletics disciplines are generally subject to yet further constraints.

What this means for us


If you are a member of an affiliated club you must enter ‘individual open competition’ road and trail races (the most common type of race) in your affiliated club’s name. If you are not a member of an affiliated club, you can often put the name of a ‘team’ on the entry form and GO VEGGIE would look just fine there. Having GO VEGGIE on start and results sheets helps to get our sentiment out there.

Entries, competitor lists and results sheets


You will have seen competitors in UKA sanctioned races wearing all sorts of clothing, some of which carries blatant advertising. For the rank-and-file runner the regulations do not seem to be enforced. If, however, regulations were to be strictly followed then ‘advertising’ would need to unequivocally defined. It would seem UKA are trying to control benefits to any affiliated club or commercial concern. GO VEGGIE is simply an expression of your own personal values and as such does not ‘advertise’ any entity. It is a similar sentiment to having a shirt saying ‘Be Happy’ on the front. Accordingly, as matters stand, it is unlikely you would be challenged and even if you were it would seem perfectly within UKA rules to wear a GO VEGGIE vest in your average road and trail race. This applies whether or not you are a member of a club, and whether or not you are a registered athlete. You can make a difference – don a vest and get the message out there: animals everywhere will love you…



This page serves as an introduction to road, trail, and parkrun running and how being a part of the GO VEGGIE community fits in with the rules and regulations of UK Athletics and the parkrun organisation. For more details regarding UK Athletic's issues, please visit the UKA website.



Parkrun is a fantastic innovation and allows runners of all abilities easy and reliable access to 5K runs all over the UK and beyond. To take part, you have to create an account via the parkrun website and then print off a bar code which you take along with you to each event. All events are free and there is no need to pre-enter; you quite literally just turn up and run. At the finish you present your bar code and you will later receive an e-mail giving you your time and performance details. The parkrun organisation is very inclusive and as a result does not fetter its events with rules and regulations. You are free to run parkrun events in GO VEGGIE kit and can also show yourself as belonging to the GO VEGGIE community by updating your personal details via the parkrun support pages. Many people new to endurance sports are now taking part in parkrun events and it is a fantastic place to sow the seeds of vegetarianism in people looking to make lifestyle changes. GO VEGGIE at parkruns, and inspire others to go veggie too.

Q1. Are you a member of a UKA affiliated club?

Q2. Are you registered with National Association (ie England Athletics etc)?

You can still enter road and trail races but have to pay a small levy


You will usually be able to put 'GO VEGGIE' on entry forms and therefore gain publicity on start and results sheets


You can wear a GO VEGGIE vest as we are not 'advertising', we are simply expressing our personal values

You must enter road and trail races in the name of your affiliated club


There will be no race levy to pay


You can wear a GO VEGGIE vest as we are not 'advertising', we are  simply expressing our personal values

You must enter road and trail races in the name of your affiliated club


You have to pay a small race levy


You can wear a GO VEGGIE vest as we are not 'advertising', we are  simply expressing our personal values

Quick reference - GO VEGGIE and UK Athletics sanctioned road and trail running races